The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: rob sheppard

Sharpening Videos and Webinars

by on Apr.24, 2011, under Composition, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Workshops

Sharpening Photos in Photoshop Elements

On the San Diego Photography Meetup Group, I commented that a photo was a bit soft and could benefit from sharpening. The photographer replied she didn’t know much about sharpening. That got me to thinking that sharpening is something most experienced digital photographers do automatically without a lot of thought but it could be baffling to many newbies. I’ve embedded a Video Monday Morning Tip that explains basics of sharpening.
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There are several more videos covering sharpening in the Video section as well as a PDF article in the Monday Morning Tips section. I hope you’ll take a moment to review these resources so you can make your photos the best they can be.

Most of my videos and articles are basic enough that the instructions work for either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Rob Sheppard HDR Webinar

REGISTER today for Rob Sheppard’s HDR Tools, Tips and Techniques webinar on Saturday, May 7 at 9AM Pacific Time. Rob is editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine, a National Geographic contributer and author of over 30 photography books. Learn from the man who edited Galen Rowell’s articles. I’ve taken classes with Rob and my photography has improved in immeasurably due to his teaching skills.

2011 San Diego Fair Entries

Here are my entries for the 2011 San Diego Fair. It’s your turn to critique my work. Let me know if you see anything you would have done differently in either making the photo or post-processing it for competition. Entering a competition is a good way to validate your work and ensure you’re not “drinking the Kool Aid.” Just because your mother says you’re a good photographer doesn’t mean anyone else thinks so!


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Gloria Hopkins Webinar a Hit!

by on Apr.21, 2011, under Composition, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

Composition Clarified in Three Hours

In just three short hours, Gloria Hopkins explained the ins and outs of composition in clear, concise, succinct terms that everyone understood. As a confident artist, Gloria used both her award winning photos as well “cutting room floor” dregs to demonstrate photographic composition. It’s a rare artist that allows others to see her failures as well as her winners. The entire webinar was recorded and will be made available for viewing in a few days. Stay tuned for details.

HDR Tools, Tips and Techniques Webinar – May 7

Rob Sheppard is on tap in two weeks to present his HDR Tools, Tips and Techniques webinar. Any photographer who hasn’t been sleeping under a rock knows that HDR (high dynamic range) is the hottest thing in photography. Many have seen works by early HDR pioneers like Ben Wilmore and Rick Sammon. Many have also been waiting for HDR to mature into “real” art that accurately reflects the grandeur of nature without the garish, cartoon-like effects of early HDR tools. 

If your idea of HDR is like the photo of the cars immediately to the left but you’d like to produce HDR like the sunrise in the Eastern Sierras (far left,) then this is the webinar for you.

Rob Sheppard has been working to develop a natural HDR style that complements rather than exaggerates nature’s beauty. Rob will tell us about his favorite tools as well as tools that failed to make the cut. Rob will demonstrate techniques for creating HDR photos that have the look and grace of an Ansel Adams without hauling a 65lbs view camera and glass plates into the wilderness. While demonstrating tips for optimizing these techniques, Rob will explain the process on your screen.

You’ll actually watch Rob develop an image on your monitor. Everything he does will immediately show up on your monitor. If you have a question, he can stop, backup, restart or otherwise redo the step to answer your question. Don’t miss this webinar. It’s not everyday that you can sit with a National Geographic photographer.

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Flexibility is the Key

by on Apr.03, 2011, under gear, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements

Desert Spring Wildflower Season

San Felipe ValleyThe desert spring wildflower season was weak this year. To top it off, the wind blew at about 25 mph the whole weekend. Even tiny flowers just 1/4″ off the ground were bent at 90 degrees. I’ve learned over the years that a good flower season doesn’t always mean a good flower season for photography. If you were willing to hike 2-4 miles into the canyons, there were some nice blooms but, there, the venturi effect increased the wind speed even more.

Sometimes, PDL (pure dumb luck) intervenes like this field of desert marigolds along San Felipe Valley Road on the way home. I got down low with my Canon 7D and Sigma 10-20 ultra-wide angle lens at f/22 and 20mm on a Gitzo 1228 tripod. I knew if I focused about 20 feet away (the second fence post,) my depth of field would be from about 2.5 ft to infinity.

At home, using DP-HDR by Mediachance, I confirmed what I suspected. There was too much wind for the usual 3-frame HDR. The flowers were just a mass of yellow. Opening it in Photoshop Elements, I added “pop” to the sky and mountains with Topaz Adjust. Popping the background did funky things to the marigolds in the foreground so I added a layer mask and revealed the original foreground in the layer beneath. Voila, instant fake, single frame HDR. More

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Poor Man’s (or Woman’s) Macro

by on Mar.21, 2011, under Composition, gear, Monday Morning Tips

Macro Photography on the Cheap

The Annual Spring Desert Wildflower and Macro Photography Workshop is this coming weekend, March 26 and 27. To make the most of opportunities that abound for macro (close- up) images of flowers, bugs and other subjects that appear in spring, here’s a short primer on several low cost ways to get into close-up photography.

Most people immediately think of a dedicated macro lens when first considering macro photography. This produces the best images but also costs the most. For example, Canon offers several dedicated macro lenses ranging in price from $450 to $1500. On a positive note, unlike other macro solutions, dSLR macro lenses make for some very good portrait lenses. More

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Eliminating Shadows in Product Photos

by on Mar.11, 2011, under gear, Monday Morning Tips, Webcast, Workshops

Why a Good Flash is a Good Investment

Which photo below resembles your photos on eBay or Craigslist? If you said the one on the left, not to worry, most online ad photos look like that.


The one on the right was taken with the same flash with the same camera on the same tripod at the same time. The difference is Multi Mode (Nikon – Stroboscopic.) You’ve seen photos where a gymnast is captured in multiple positions throughout a jump. The first photo is taken as the athlete leaps up, the second a moment later in mid-air, a third as he/she tucks into a spin and so on until the gymnast sticks the landing. The flash fires a series of bursts, each freezing the gymnast at a point in the tumble. That’s cool but not something many people do on a regular basis. However, Multi (Stroboscopic) is very useful for making photos like the right vase. More

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